Analysts tip pandemic as top talk at MWC21 Barcelona

Kester Mann

Director – Consumer and Connectivity CCS Insight

Peter Jarich

Head GSMA Intelligence

Benjamin Stanton

Research Manager Canalys

Marta Pinto

Research Manager – European Mobile Devices IDC

INTERVIEW: Leading analysts told Mobile World Live Covid-19 (coronavirus) is likely to dominate discussions at the forthcoming MWC21 Barcelona, in particular the mobile industry’s response to the pandemic.

Ben Stanton, research manager at Canalys, noted Covid-19 was likely to be more widely discussed than technology, though added this was a positive move by offering the chance to bring a “refreshing human perspective” to the industry.

His view was backed by IDC research manager for European Mobile Devices Marta Pinto, who said the MWC21 Barcelona agenda “is almost a status check on how technology is shaping the world” following a year in which “industries and countries had to recognise connectivity as the critical commodity”.

Beyond the pandemic, head of GSMA Intelligence Peter Jarich predicted private networks and executing on the 5G opportunity would be key topics of discussion, while CCS Insight director of Consumer and Connectivity Kester Mann highlighted growing momentum around standalone 5G deployments and broader availability of affordable, compatible mobile devices.

Pinto and Stanton noted the nascent nature of 5G makes talk of what 6G might deliver somewhat premature, with the IDC analyst noting she is yet to see a “killer” use case for the current technology.

But CCS Insight’s Mann was hopeful the eventual shift to 6G would result in holograms moving “from concept to reality”, noting the technology could provide “genuine solutions to improve the wellbeing of people experiencing prolonged isolation”.

Click here for more on the analysts’ thoughts on current trends including supply chain shortages, operator revenue streams, and security and privacy.